UC Irvine researchers develop wearable respiration monitor with children's toy
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a wearable, disposable respiration monitor that provides high-fidelity readings on a continuous basis.It's designed to help children with asthma and cystic fibrosis and others with chronic pulmonary conditions, according to a university article.
The inexpensively produced sensors were created by UCI biomedical engineers using the popular children's toy Shrinky Dinks, thin sheets of plastic that are painted or drawn on and then shrunk with heat.
Placed in two positions – one between the ninth and 10th ribs and another on the abdomen – the Band-Aid-like devices track the rate and volume of the wearer's respiration by measuring the local strain on the application areas. The information gleaned could, in the case of asthma, help warn of an oncoming attack, according to the article.
“The current standard of care in respiration monitoring is a pulmonary function test that's often difficult to perform and limited in terms of the snapshot it provides of a patient's respiratory health – meaning problems can sometimes be missed,” said Michael Chu, UCI graduate student researcher in biomedical engineering and lead author of a paper on the innovation published today in npj Digital Medicine. “Our new stretch sensors allow users to walk around and go about their lives while vital information on the health of their lungs is being collected.”
Several BMES participated in the research.
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